Field of the Rat: Modern Megaliths of Spain

lewoskyphoto by Jacobo Fraga, aka Lewosky

This monument was made for a very serious purpose: to memorialise the victims of pro-Franco repression, particularly those who died in terrible incidents in the area. Outside the  Galician city of A Coruna is an area called Campo de la Rata, or Field of the Rat, where this and another modern megalithic monument* are located. This one was designed by the artist Isaac Díaz Pardo.

Galicia is the Celtic province of Spain, and that may explain the tendency toward megaliths in these memorials, the myth of the Celtic culture being the megalith builders being very persistent. An inscription says, roughly, “Martyred in these fields before the murky sea for loving just causes.” It seems to be playing on that same idea of sacrifice at Stonehenge as at the Maryhill, Washington State replica.

This photo seems to capture some of the tragic meaning and haunting memory of the monument. Nice work, Sr. Fraga!

How can we make a funny? Here we see the Stonehenge idea used well, to give gravitas to a piece of land that will forever commemorate the sad loss of life. Red paint, like blood, is streaked on some of the stones, and it almost as if those great stones represent the individuals who were tortured and put to death here.

Score: 7½ druids. No, it’s not a circle, and you can see here and here that the form is even more unusual than it looks above, but this sculpture, set on a spit of land that reaches out into the sea, captures a poignancy and a weight that brings it closer to the spirit of the original than one would expect. Beautiful!

*The other monument, Menhires por la Paz, a group of modern standing stones with a rectangular window in each one, can be seen here.

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